Encounter Africa’s Ugly Five Animals


Every tourist to Africa knows about the Big five animals, but what about the ugly five animals? Ugly? You must be wondering what makes an animal ugly. Could it be the appearance? However, once you discover about them, you will learn the interesting reason they are known as the Ugly five animals. These include the wildebeest, hyenas, warthogs, vultures and marabou storks. Here are Africa’s Ugliest 5 and the reasons as to why they are considered to be Ugly!

  1. Wildebeests

There are so many surprising things you will discover about these animals that will blow your mind. Can you imagine they have buffalo-like heads, horse-like tails and antelope-like bodies that make they seem like they are made from spare parts?

Their big heads and stocky/heavy front-ends are out of proportion to the small/slender hind-quarters and spindly legs. Surprisingly, these animals always seem confused of whether they should be in a herd or not because they are most times found hanging with Puku, impalas and zebras.

Another interesting thing about the wildebeests as members of the ugly five animals, they are two of the only ones that are non-scavengers. The others are warthogs.

2. Warthogs

Their love for wallowing in mud and sand baths as well as the bristles are probably the reason warthogs are known to be ugly. They also possess warts that are usually used for protection when males are fighting whereas their tusks are used for foraging. Unlike most animals that prefer fighting head-on with their enemies, the warthogs would rather run than fight, with the young ones following from behind the lines with their tails in the air.

3. Vultures

Interestingly, the vultures are villains of the category known to be ugly, squabbling and dirty harbingers of the death. You will discover that when these birds are to hunt, every bird had to fend for itself but don’t surround dying animals waiting to cash in.

Just like their marabou storks counterparts, majority of the vultures are featherless on their heads and necks which in most cases prevent bacteria and parasites from entering into their feathers and causing infection, the fact that they scavenge on rotting carcasses.

4. Marabou storks

Marabou storks are known for their mess of frizzy hair that protrudes from their scalps and wide wings that fold inwards as they stalk and bend forward through the grasses as well as their large fleshy throats that swing from one side to another.  Have you ever wondered why these birds are known as undertakers? They mainly inhabit semi-arid and wet areas and just like the vultures, Marabou storks are scavengers that will be seen wandering periphery areas waiting for any pieces of flesh that the vultures have discarded.

Another surprising thing about them is that they mainly feed on anything small enough to gulp down in addition to flesh of dead animals, which is very unlikely of other birds. Another common area they are spotted is feasting in rubbish dumps in areas near humans/homes.

5. Hyenas

Hyenas are carnivorous and nocturnal animals with very good night vision as well as dirty scavengers and it is obvious that when thinking of the list of Africa’s ugly animals, the hyenas can never miss. These animals have mangy-looking fur and are popular for their scavenging behavior and stealing other animals’ kills. Their most annoying and ugly characteristic is their loud laughs and toothy jaws among other things. Much as they are known to steal other animals’ kill, they are excellent hunters and at least 90% of their food is hunted by them.


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